A few years back I found the man of my dreams, a man that was a leader, intelligent, caring, great with my kids and attractive. When I first met him, he was going through the outcomes of celiac disease, which made him gain a lot of weight. At that time, I just had broken up a very terrible relationship with a personal trainer where I learned to be physically healthy. In the beginning of our relationship, my now fiancé worked out with me and lost a lot of weight and my physical attraction for him was at the highest. I was more in-love then I’ve ever been before. Years passed and he started to gain weight and unfortunately, his sedentary behavior started to affect me and I became sedentary too. I’m at a point in this relationship where I’m starting to see a pattern here… he is lazy, I’m lazy; He drinks, I drink; etc. Unfortunately, I started to build resentment and I don’t find him physically attractive, but our sex life is good. I just hate seeing him with a beer belly and so out of shape; I sometimes feel that he does not deserve to have a hot fiancé. I worry about his health too, and the more sedentary he becomes the more I hate his eating habits but I can’t say anything or he will get upset. What can I do to regain back the physical attraction? It kills me to be distant in a public setting with him, but I feel embarrassed at times. — Claudia
I’m at a point in this relationship where I’m starting to see a pattern here… he is lazy, I’m lazy; He drinks, I drink
I feel for you, Claudia.
It’s not the primary reason two people should be together, but without it, you’re no more than friends. Which makes this a tricky question when you’re making a decision for 40 years. How can your relationship survive a lack of attraction? Is he to blame? Are you to blame? Is there a right answer that suits everybody?
I think it’s important that we look at this from a few different angles:
- You described him as the man of your dreams: intelligent, caring, great with your kids, good in bed. I’m assuming he’s still all those things. That’s a point in his favor.
- When you met him he was thin (from an illness, but still). Now, he doesn’t look like the man you fell in love with. He changed the terms of the original contract? Shouldn’t that be cause for concern? Maybe. But then again…
- You also implied that you don’t look like you did at the beginning of the relationship. You were once in an unhealthy relationship with a personal trainer, which probably did a number on your self-image. Then you found a healthy relationship with a less physically healthy man and you both reverted to the mean. He’s lazy; you’re lazy. He drinks; you drink. By the way, this isn’t just you. “Fat and happy” is a thing. Couples are, on average, 15lbs heavier than single people.
- You didn’t say how much more he weighs compared to how much more you weigh, proportionately, but those in flabby houses shouldn’t throw stones. Again, I’m not defending his lifestyle, choices or looks. I’m only pointing out that for you to point out that you’re dancing on a very fine line here.
those in flabby houses shouldn’t throw stones
When you write, “he does not deserve to have a hot fiancé,” and “I feel embarrassed at times,” those sentences seem to indict you more than they indict him.
Again, I don’t know how much he let himself go. I don’t know if your assessment is fair or hypercritical. All I would ask you is this:
If we reversed the genders and a man wrote to me with the same message:
“My girlfriend is perfect. I met her when she was thin, but she gained weight and I’m not attracted to her anymore. Even though I don’t look like I used to, I’m still embarrassed by her appearance and, honestly, I don’t think she deserves to have a hot boyfriend.”
How sympathetic do you think our female readers would be to that man?
For all I want to side with you because attraction and health ARE important, your tone makes me want to tell him to find a girlfriend who appreciates him as he is.